Canoe Slalom

Canoe Slalom is one of the two disciplines of the sport of Canoeing.

Did you know?

A total of 200 gate poles need to be painted red and green for the canoe slalom course.
The first Great Britain World Champion (1959) was Paul Farrant from Chalfont Park Canoe Club on the River Thames.
White water attracts rafting, freestyle, white water racing and canoe slalom.
Canoe slaloms are held on both natural rivers and special white water venues.

Venue: Lee Valley White Water Centre
Dates: Sunday 29 July – Wednesday 1 August
Gold medals up for grabs: 4
Athletes: 82

Canoeing at the Olympic Games

The first Olympic Canoe Slalom event was at the Munich Games in 1972. It came back into the Olympic arena in Barcelona in 1992 and has stayed in place since.

For more information on the history of the sport, visit the IOC website.

How the competition runs

The slalom competition is a timed run down a white water course with up to 25 gates to negotiate. Touching a gate adds a two-second time penalty to the run and missing a gate incurs a 50-second penalty – a disaster. Slalom is a time trial and the next racer starts when the previous one has finished.

Jargon buster

  • Eddy: White water feature – turbulence behind obstacles.
  • Upstream: Water flow direction opposite to channel flow.
  • Downstream: Water flow in the main channel direction.
  • Upstream gate: A slalom gate (red/white) to be negotiated ‘upstream’.
  • Hole: A white water feature created below a drop.
  • PFD: Personal flotation device – a buoyancy aid.
  • Two: A two-second time penalty given for touching a pole
  • Spraydeck: Neoprene kit that keeps water out of the cockpit (‘deck).
  • Offset: Zig-zag sequence of downstream gates.
  • Part head 50: The whole head has to be in the gate, otherwise there is a 50-second time penalty.
  • Drop: A fall of water creating fast current and tough eddies.

Get involved

Contact your national association to find a local club and get information on development schemes for up-and-coming paddlers. Visit Canoe England, Canoe Scotland, the Welsh Canoeing Association, the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland and the International Canoe Federation.

David Florence of Great Britain competes at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

~ by superbowlnyc on February 17, 2011.

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